Our them this year is – The Year of Growth – Personally, Relationally, and Numerically –
2 Peter 3:18
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.
Here on the screen is a picture of a tree, it’s a beautiful tree, that looks to be growing and that is healthy. When we look at trees this is what we see, the external, the beauty. But there is a part of the tree that is far more important than what we see, it’s what we don’t see. The part of the tree that is under the soil it’s foundation of the tree, the part of the tree that provides growth and stability and helps the tree mature. The tree roots are essential to the growth of the tree! And if it doesn’t receive the nutrients that it needs, it will not have the strong foundation that it desires. And the first strong storm that comes thru will push the tree to the ground.
We are like this tree, if we don’t feed our roots with the nutrients that we need to have a strong foundation we will not be able to withstand the storms that come into our lives. We won’t be able to know what is true and what is false, we won’t be able to be obedient to God because we don’t know what we need to be obedient to. We won’t be able to have victory over temptations, sin, and darkness, because we don’t know how to. Spiritual growth is very important, and it’s not what is seen on the outside, butwhat is below the surface. Strong, deep, healthy roots that will help us to be the person God wants us to be.
The Bible is like nutrients and water for a plant. Without it you’ll be stunted and starved.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)
Here’s the tragedy. There are some of you are trying to live like this. Each Sunday you’re trying to get all the spiritual food and water you need for the entire week. You can’t do it. It’s not possible. It would be like this plant, only putting it in the pot, only giving it water and nutrients for one hour a week.
What would that do to the life of this plant? What does that do to your spiritual life? Here’s the tragedy. Many of you today are more concerned about this plant than you are about your own spiritual life. You’re thinking to yourself, “I hope that poor plant survives.”
If you’re concerned about this plant, how much more should you be concerned about your soul. Your soul needs the water of the Word. Your soul needs the nourishment that only this Book can provide. And you’re trying to survive on starvation rations! You only eat once a week, and then wonder why the spiritual life is so difficult! Wonder why you continue to fall into sin. Wonder why you can’t make much progress. I’ll tell you why—you’re soul is starving to death! I could have a table set with the most nutritious food imaginable, but it does you no earthly good if you don’t eat it! Eat God’s food!
God wants you to grow, God wants you to have life and have it more abundantly…….
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always contending for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills.
But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen